If we learned anything from being behind the scenes of Blake Lively’s Met Gala prep, it’s that the best hairstylists in the biz regularly draw inspiration from icons of the past when creating new red-carpet looks. Lupita Nyong’o’s gravity-defying 'do for the gala was no different. But when Vogue used the style to call Nyong’o the new Audrey Hepburn, the actress, an advocate for Black beauty, was quick to set the record straight (and right on the money).
In a slideshow video posted to Instagram today, the star (who just earned a Tony nominee for Eclipsed) made clear her actual inspirations, which include Nina Simone and traditional African styles. And because Nyong’o is a class act through and through — can we get even an ounce of that poise? — she captioned the post simply, “Hair Inspiration. Check. @vernonfrancois @voguemagazine #metball2016.” François is her stylist.
This isn’t the first time Nyong’o has used her influence to school a whitewashed culture on what really defines beauty. Just check out the Lancôme model’s standout speech at Essence's 2014 Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, the closing lines of which bear repeating: "That you will feel the validation of your external beauty, but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade in that beauty."